The Stamp Collector
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The Stamp Collector

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  97 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A city boy finds a stamp that unlocks his imagination; a country boy is captivated by stories. When they grow up, the two boys take different paths – one becomes a prison guard, the other works in a factory – but their early childhood passions remain. When the country boy’s stories of hope land him in prison, the letters and stamps sent to him from faraway places intrigue...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 30th 2012 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside
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Tara
You should read The Stamp Collector because you love language, because you need stories, because you believe in the power of writing to connect, to heal and to change. As a quiet reflection on the freedom of speech and government censorship, this is an achingly beautiful picture book with a rich lyrical voice. A poor city boy finds a single stamp and it opens up a world he had never before contemplated. A dreamy country boy loses himself in books and words, his imagination soaring far beyond the...more
Barbara
Stories can change lives, and this lovely book describes how an unlikely friendship develops between two men. A city boy falls in love with a beautiful stamp he finds on the street and dreams of other worlds. He becomes a prison guard in order to make a living. A country boy grows up telling stories and writing pieces that are critical of his government's regime, for which he is imprisoned. Eventually, the paths of the two cross briefly. Wow! After reading this brief but powerful book and readin...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 3rd grade
This book emphasizes the idea that freedom of speech is not accepted in every country and in many; there are harsh punishments for simply writing things even if they are not intended to be published. This book features two main characters, the country boy and the guard of the prison. The country boy finds a stamp, sees the true value of the stories, and travels that individual stamp holds, which leads him to write stories. The wonderful story the country boy writes gets a...more
Jacquelyn Hoogendyk
The Stamp Collector by Jennifer Lanthier is a story about an unlikely friendship that develops, between a city boy who falls in love with collecting stamps that take his imagination to other worlds and a country boy who falls in love with words and the power of stories. The city boy grows up to be a prison guard to make ends meet. The country boy grows up to be a writer. His stories, which are critical of his government’s regime, put him in jail for life. It is in this unlikely place that the tw...more
Corrina
Read my full review at wadingthroughbooks.wordpress.com!

This is a lovely and evocative story. The writer and the guard have very specific roles, and the guard is afraid of getting in trouble like the writer, but he takes pity on someone who is alone and didn’t do anything bad to deserve being put in prison. The guard collects stamps because they are beautiful. He takes the stamps from the letters to the writer because they are lovely, but he sees that the writer needs to know that he is not alon...more
Liz
Beautiful to read...Beautiful to look at... Thoughtful prose and a "story of not long ago and not far away." The power of stories to bind us together, yet free us and promote social justice. Great to explore issues of government oppression and freedom of speech with older children. The pictures complement the text...both haunt me. A book worth reflecting and discussing! A 2013 NBGS book! (Notable Books for a Global Society)
Brenna Daugherty
An unlikely friendship develops, between a city boy who falls in love with collecting stamps that take his imagination to other worlds and a country boy who falls in love with words and the power of stories. The city boy grows up to be a prison guard to make ends meet. The country boy grows up to be a writer. His stories, which are critical of his government’s regime, put him in jail for life. It is in this unlikely place that the two men meet and form a friendship. Both men filled with fear of...more
Jessica Moden
Reading Level: 3rd Grade
This book emphasizes the idea that freedom of speech is not accepted in every country and in many there are harsh punishments for simply writing things even if they are not intended to be published. This book features two main characters, the country boy and the guard of the prison. The country boy finds a stamp and sees the true value of the stories and travels that individual stamp holds, which leads him to write stories. The wonderful story the country boy writes gets...more
Sophie Gray
This book portrays the meaning of friendship very powerfully. As the guard and the writer who is the prisoner in this book create a bond that is unexplainable, the passion for each other grows through each character which is very clear to the audience. The story of the two men was spread out through a long period, giving the story a much more meaningful background that was difficult to predict. This was a book that was hard to put down, as you always wanted to know what was going to happen next...more
Melissa Morton
The Stamp Collector is about two boys, one who loves stamps and one who loves stories, who meet and form a friendship under unlikely circumstances. The boy who loves stamps is from the city and grows up to become a prison guard. The boy who loves stories grows up to be a writer, but is put in jail for his work. The two men meet in the prison and begin their friendship...

This is a simple story with a strong message. This book captivated my attention and fell in love with it. The simple story line...more
Helaine Becker
This book will make you cry. In a good way. Find out the story behind the story, too, and you'll be shocked, amazed, and impressed beyond words. Raise money for PEN when you buy this book.
Henna
Perhaps lately I'm really sensitive, but this story moved me very directly - a love for writing, stories, stamps and courage.
Edward Sullivan
A wonderful story about political oppression, freedom of expression, and the power of stories to change lives.
Claudia Osmond
A beautiful and affecting story, full of hope and a future.
Courtney
Somewhat (auto)biographical.

The story is based upon two different authors who were imprisoned by the Chinese Communist government for writing stories the government didn't approve of.

Two boys grow up in China. One develops a love of stamps, and starts a collection of them. As he grows, he feels the need to be responsible and provide for his family, so he takes a job as a prison guard.
The other boy loves words, and grows up to become an author. He writes a story that is dislike by the governmen...more
Juliette
This is a tale of two boys; one from the city who loves stamps and the other from the country who loves to read and write stories. Both boys come from impoverished families. The city boy, who loves stamps, imagines a world around his beloved stamp, and eventually grows up to work as prison guard. The country boy grows up to work in a factory, and writes about his dying land. Although his stories bring joy and hope to the villagers, they bring fear to others and he is eventually taken away to pri...more
Tanna
The Stamp Collector is a story about oppression, expression, and the power of the written word told through the lives of two boys. It follows a city boy’s love for stamps and a country boy’s love for writing. It parallels the boys’ lives until they meet. Both discover their love at a young age and through their love of stamps and stories, escape to a world of dreams and adventure. As the boys grow older, they realize that these dreams and stories will not support them in real life. They are both...more
Maureen
When I picked up this book I did not realize that it was based on real events in China. This amazing book tells the story of two very different boys whose lives remarkably intertwine. The city boy finds a unique stamp and decides to collect them throughout his life. The country boy loves words - reading and telling stories. The city boy becomes a prison guard. The country boy works in a factory but is imprisoned for writing a book. The prison guards are not supposed to talk to the prisoners but...more
Sean Dugan-Strout
This is a story of expression and oppression. The illustrations within the pages were a mix of color and black and white. I enjoyed the uniqueness of how each page was presented; the objects and images flowed around he page, while still creating a realistic scene through paint. In the story, the characters are two boys and the paths that they chose to take in life. Its interesting to see how their lives coincide with each others, and the story that unfolds along the way. The colors within the pa...more
Angela
Initially I was drawn to the "darkly luminous" illustrations on the cover. Upon further examination, I found the illustrations just dark and pessimistic without any hint of wonder. The concept of the story is a valuable one - the power of language, unfairness of oppression, unlikely friendships. But the weaving together of the lives of the prison guard and writer is ineffective from beginning to end. The story lacks focus. It tries to cover too many issues and does none of them justice. If you'r...more
Yazan M.
THE BOOK IS A PRETTY GOOD BOOK FOR CHILDREN.


AUTHOR:
JENNIFER LANTHIER

BOOK:
THE STAMP COLLECTER










Shelby Kesterke
I really enjoyed reading this book! The illustrations were a mix of color and black and white. This is something that I haven't really seen before. This is a story about two boys and the paths that they chose to take in life. Its interesting to see how their lives coincide with each others, and the story that unfolds along the way. If you want a good read, I recommend reading this book!

I could use this book in the classroom to talk about different things students collect and if some students col...more
Alyn Lunt
I enjoyed reading this book to my children, it is an excellent way to introduce younger readers to the problems of censorship and control that many writers face around the world.
Lybah
this was a good book!!!!!!!!!!!
Rachel
In an oppressive world, where an unspecified force tries to suppress the written word, a story spreads and grows and shows that no matter what, reality cannot destroy imagination. This is based on a true story, the true story of many people who are imprisoned because they believe they have the freedom to write what they want; it is a very powerful and beautiful story, and one children should know. They should know that not everyone is as lucky as we are, to have the right to express our imaginat...more
Hannah Smith-Morgan
This is a very dark and interesting books that discusses issues involving the freedom of speech and strong bonds of friendship. It would be important to fit the appropriate age group of the class. It is a dark story about time in prison and I don't think it would be appropriate for children in younger grades. It is an interesting story with very creative visual illustrations.
This is a great book, but it will have to be used carefully within the classroom.
Jan Coates
A tough topic to create in picture book form, but this book is brilliant, both the illustrations and the text. I used it in my writing for children class as an example of a perfect "circular" story, where the beginning recurs at the end. It's easy to see why this book is getting so much attention!
Rhin
A beautifully-written story filled with depth and symbolism. It's only short, but the book shows how words can be powerful and can affect people positively and at times, negatively. I can reread this again and again.
Dawn
Beautiful and haunting. It doesn't really strike me as a children's book though. It is a wonderful way to tell the story if the need for story, or the tragedy if oppression, and how it can be overcome.
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“He reads every book in his home but it is not enough. The country boy craves stories. He devours every poem and fable in his school and library. Still he hungers. For stories.” 5 likes
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